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Tubed tires
#1
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CartRich
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I hope I'm not putting my lack of experience out on full display with this question, but aside from removing the tire from the rim, is there a visual way I can tell if my tires are tubed or tubeless?

Posted on: 2019/11/7 7:53
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Re: Tubed tires
#2
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Owen_Dyneto
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Just take a close look at the valve stem, they are entirely different. Tubeless stems are very securely attached thru the hole in the rim with an air-tight sealing lip on both sides and thus are fixed in position; tube-type stems are part of the tube and if you release enough air pressure you will be able to very easily push the valve stem in thru the hole in the rim.

CAUTION - if tube type, don't push the stem all the way in or you'll curse like h... and probably have to dismount the tire to get the stem back into the hole. If you have tubes, it's worthwhile buying one of those special little tools to prevent "loosing" the valve stem inside the wheel while mounting tires and tubes.

Posted on: 2019/11/7 8:20
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Re: Tubed tires
#3
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CartRich
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Taking this one step further, the tires are old enough that regardless of tubed or no tube, they should be replaced because of age. The manual shows the car as having had "balloon tires" which I assume means tubed tires. If I find that the tires currently on the car are not tubed, should I add tubes?

Posted on: 2019/11/7 14:25
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Re: Tubed tires
#4
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Owen_Dyneto
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"Balloon" in that context means low pressure, as compared to tires from about a decade earlier which required significantly higher pressures. Of course they would be tube-type, that's all there was at the time.

Tubeless tires and wheels designed specifically for them made their debut around 1954. Despite the fact that the wheels on your car weren't designed to be compatible with tubeless tires, many owners have found that these rims at least back to 1938 are generally airtight and have satisfactorily installed tubeless tires. Only way to know for sure is to try it and if you find one or more of the rims doesn't hold air, then try a sealant or add a tube. So there is your choice, install tubeless and see what happens, or duplicate the original equipment and buy tube-type plus tubes.

Posted on: 2019/11/7 15:21
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Re: Tubed tires
#5
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Gar
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I was going to replace the tires and tubes but all of the vintage tire manufactures that I contacted recommended that I go tubeless if possible.

I replaced all six tires on my 1940 Super 8 with tubeless 4" wide whitewall tires. Absolutely no issues. I had the entire wheel rim sandblasted and then powder coated with a black gloss at $40/rim. They look great and most importantly don't leak.

Best of luck

Posted on: 2019/11/7 20:27
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